Is Your Supply Chain Bulletproof?

April 11, 2022 by Jason Mieding (2 minute read)

Before you respond, think hurricanes, Nor’easters and tsunamis. Earthquakes, typhoons and volcanic eruptions. Civil unrest and war. Terrorism. A pandemic virus.

The aftermath of such events—which may include power outages, blocked roadways, closed airports and communities under quarantine—can derail a clinical trial by preventing supplies from reaching investigator sites and patients. The end result: A potential loss of precious resources and development time, as well as reputation.

In a recent poll of webinar attendees, nearly half said their sourcing of clinical trial materials was negatively impacted by COVID-19. Other participants cited pandemic-related problems with transportation, manufacturing and vendor underperformance.

While COVID-19 is an unprecedented event, major supply chain disruptions are not. Unsurprisingly, a leading cause is weather. Since 2013, weather disasters in the U.S. alone have doubled to 12 events per year. Flooding is projected to double globally by 2033, an impact of climate change.

Not all disruptive events are disease- or weather-related. Brexit caught companies with sole packaging facilities in the UK off-guard and unprepared. Many acted to shift their packaging to a new location in the EU, but discovered to their surprise and dismay that their regulatory documents didn’t support an immediate move.

Preventing acts of nature, people or politics from unraveling the supply chain requires contingency planning. Think of it as building a safety net for the supply chain. Effective contingency planning involves a thoughtful three-step process of:

  • Identifying Risk: Where is your supply chain vulnerable?
  • Assessing Risk: What is the severity and likelihood of each risk?
  • Responding to Risk: What actions can you take to mitigate each risk?

While you may be convinced about the need to engage in contingency planning, you may be uncertain about exactly how and where to begin.


For answers, we invite you to watch our on-demand webinar, detailing the contingency planning process and offers tangible examples about how to secure the supply chain.